A THOUSAND MORE WORDS
“It is well known that if a people has a firm determination to work, it can overcome any and all its difficulties and problems. We have no problem which is insurmountable. Let us work in unity and diligence. What makes a people great and testifies to its greatness is its aspirations for the well-being of its country, and the practical achievement of these same aspirations for its own benefit and for that of future generations. Unity gives strength and assures success.” H.I.M EMPEROR HAILE SELASSIE I.
Heart of Love for all you Dear Readers. So much to be thankful for.
|Art display at the Shiriki farm|
It is our sincere hope that it is well with you as it is with the H.I.M Negus Shiriki Community Based Organization here at Maragua, Central Kenya. On a rainy January! That is the equivalent of a blue moon as far as this area is concerned. But then they said it is El Nino. Climate change? Who knows? What we know is that we will relentlessly continue doing our part to restore biodiversity and disseminating knowledge, on a daily basis.
|Arrow root crop|
May we take this opportunity to share some images of what we have been up to since we last linked on this forum.
|Edgar, volunteer from Tanzania|
From our last visit to Dar-e-Salaam, Tanzania, we continue reaping fruits. None more tangible than the presence in our midst of a young volunteer from Tanzania. During our visit to Dar, we would meet youth in various places, and naturally would reason with them about our activities in Maragua, which are geared towards uplifting our communities through tapping into the energies of our youth. We met Edgar in the busy streets of Dar, where he was eking out a living hawking trinkets. He promptly declared his interest in one day joining our team in Kenya, to learn and educate. Fast forward four months later, and a knock on the door. Yes, the man is now a full time volunteer, borders no barriers.
|Volunteers Jeremiah and Eric|
Yet more and more youth are realizing within themselves the need to step up to their natural responsibilities, and finding their place. We are in joy as we welcome two more youthful volunteers, Eric and Jeremiah. We actually met Eric three years ago, just joined college, and with big heart to serve humanity. Never spoke again. Three weeks ago, skilled from his college course, he called and said he was on his way, accompanied by a kindred spirit.
|Princess Menen - Education is key|
True manifestation of the strengths of youth, so often spoken about, is being witnessed through the vibes shared at Maragua and the works thereof. A position no doubt shared by countless ones universally, the ONE LOVE. Still, we have been granted to continue nurturing more youth, from even a tender age. Just to be double sure, we are now originating the youth right here at the Maragua farm!
|Sister Njoki 'Mama Afrika'|
From the situation you see in the picture of Sister Njoki ‘Mama Afrika’, we are happy to report the healthy arrival of the twins Jahwise and Jahsent, the newest generation at the farm. Long life.
|Volunteer Githaka, sharing.|
Through grace and healthy partnerships, the community education and interaction efforts continue growing. This is evident from the increasing number of visitors to the farm, to the progress with the community outreach programs. Among our active partner organization is Slow Food International, with whom we have been joining hands in our endeavors to spread the culture of healthy and sustainable living. With us they have shared seeds, tools, education and opportunities to reach out to more people. It is an added advantage for all that they are also part of a wider network of organizations and communities who are consciously laboring to restore food sovereignty, biodiversity and community integration. Biovision FCP, our long time partner is one of them.
|Shiriki volunteers preparing culinary delights.|
This last November, Slow Food invited us to take part in their Africa Peace Kitchen day, at a location which is some distance from the Maragua farm. The theme for the day was ‘Promoting peaceful co-existence through exchange of culinary traditions’.
|Old school cuisine|
Also in attendance were various other partner community groups and some of the local residents. It was a huge cook-out, and did we all exchange culinary traditions! Some of the traditional dishes have not been seen by our generation.
|Heart-felt sentiments from Faya Nganga, franked by Ras Mwangi and Githaka.|
Is it a wonder that our ancestors were strong specimens to whom age was not a threat? In addition, there was lots of helpful networking, information exchange and dancing. Naturally.
|Song and dance|
On other occasions, we have had the honor of hosting guests from the international community at the farm, as part of our ongoing partnerships with Slow Food and Biovision FCP.
|Ras Abasa addressing...|
The guests representing communities and organizations, who are involved in the same endeavors, came from nations as diverse as Uganda, Thailand, Mexico, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Netherlands, Iran, U.S.A, Canada, Colombia, India and more.
|...an attentive audience.|
These organizations and groups who have visited include PELUM, ILEIA, MULIRU FARMER’S GROUP, SUNFLOWER FARM, AFRICAN BIODIVERSITY NETWORK, SOTH INDIAN FEDERATION OF FISHERMEN SOCIETY, EARTH NET FOUNDATION, DHAN FOUNDATION INDIA, WESA, FALL WINTER MOVIES and SOUTH ALLIANCE FOR INDIGENEOUS RESOURCES.
The love, information, contacts and encouragement shared is invaluable and uplifting in unmentionable ways.
|A vote of thanks, Ethiopian style.|
It is a strength to know that even in the face of all the depressing news and propaganda fronted by the mainstream vessels, there are individuals all across the seven seas who are working quietly (and sometimes not) to defend the natural way.
|Healthy interactions on the ground.|
The Shiriki C.B.O volunteers have also been deriving much encouragement from you Dear Reader, from how you have kept in touch through this blog. It sends the realization that there are many like-minded, who are applauding our efforts, just as much as we are appreciating your interaction with us.
|This one is for you...|
Thank you Austria for the support you sent, special mention to India, U.S.A, Germany, China, France, Russia , Ukraine, Kenya, Qatar, Mexico, Uganda and elsewhere for your presence on this link. Stay strong!